Prepare for Malta’s Cultural Renaissance

Unveiling the island’s inaugural Biennale

Malta has long been high on the travel list for those seeking cultural enrichment. Every corner turned seems to unveil a dramatic collage of grandiose Baroque architecture and revered sites steeped in historical significance, a testament to the island’s rich and diverse 7000-year history.

However, Spring 2024 sees the launch of another, altogether more contemporary, cultural dimension for the island. While the onset of spring not only brings warmer climes, longer days and lighter evenings, it also marks the first ‘Maltese Biennale’ where for two months, the island will be transformed, as architectural relics and monuments will play host to an island-wide celebration of contemporary art and culture.

What is a biennale?

For those unfamiliar with the term, a ‘biennale’ is a large international contemporary art exhibition held every two years in some of the world’s leading cities. Although 2024 will be the inaugural event for Malta, the concept dates back to 1895, when Venice hosted the first biennale, attracting over 200, 000 visitors. Although these art extravaganzas can now be found in over 100 cities worldwide, including Sydney, Sao Paolo, and Istanbul, the Venice event is still regarded as the most prestigious, affectionately known as the ‘Olympics of Art.’  Such is the scale and importance of these art exhibitions, they are now an important generator of tourism and revenue for host cities, as well as a source of local pride. As such, the competition to attract celebrated artists is fierce.

What can you expect?

Malta will provide a thoroughly unique and unconventional backdrop as the island merges its revered historical landmarks with a curated selection of the most innovative and forward-thinking art forms of current times. Although over 2,500 different proposals were received from artists worldwide eager to exhibit, the stringent selection criteria meant 80 creatives were invited to exhibit at the event. 

Some of Malta’s most beautiful and historic landmarks will host the twenty pavilions erected across the island giving visitors the chance to explore artistic excellence set against magnificent sites. The epicentre is unsurprisingly Malta’s capital Valetta, a  UNESCO World Heritage City known for its timeless charm and resplendent architecture. Across the two months of the event, many of the palazzos, forts, churches, museums, and ruins that have stood across the centuries, unfettered by changing cultural and social dynamics, will set the scene for a striking juxtaposition as they host some of most vibrant and innovative of today’s contemporary artforms.  Come and expect to see the Palace of the Grandmasters in Valletta, the underground in Valletta tunnels, and the Ġgantija Archaeological Park in Gozo stage some of today’s most dynamic expressions of creativity.

Visitors can prepare to immerse themselves in a kaleidoscope of diverse creativity that includes captivating musical, dance and theatrical performances, educational art films, enlightening lectures, interactive workshops, and family-friendly events for kids.

The dawn of a new cultural era

The island will no doubt hope that this will herald the dawn of a new era in the Maltese cultural landscape to complement the historical backdrop with which it is most commonly associated. As artists and enthusiasts descend onto the island, the Biennale, which lasts until 31 May, is hoped to raise the profile of Maltese creative talent as they take equal footing with their international counterparts on the global creative stage. The carefully curated programme of events is also hoped to elevate Malta’s position as a dynamic centre for creativity and cultural expression, further enhancing its reputation as a vibrant destination for cultural enthusiasts and art lovers alike. runs from 13 March until 31 May, Find out more about this exciting celebration of contemporary art, heritage and creativity at

Keen to explore the cultural sights of this Mediterranean jewel?